My boys and a soccer ball on Kilkee Beach

“You just missed it, last week the weather was grand!” This was a statement I heard more than once during my stay in Kilkee, the week before Easter. We had a tiny taste of the nice weather, which was just about to leave Ireland, on the day we arrived. I actually had to put on my sunglasses when exiting the airport for the car park! In all my trips to Ireland, I think that was a first! However, we spent that day in airports, in the car and eventually unpacking and settling into Rose Cottage, so there wasn’t much of a chance to enjoy the end of the “grand” weather.

On our first morning we awoke to grey skies, nearly gale force wind and intermittent rain. This was pretty much the theme of our week except for a couple of variations. There was the time we drove home from Doolin in blizzard-like conditions with snow falling from the sky in an abundance worthy of Chicago. This happened fairly early in the week when driving on Clare roads was still a bit harrowing for me and the addition of snow to the mix wasn’t much help. Visibility was bad and although the snow never accumulated on the ground, it added to the rain, which had fallen on and off since our first morning, and made the mud at the sides of the narrow country roads into even more of a hazard when my tires would inevitably leave the road and sink, the couple of times I allowed myself to become distracted. On another day, we experienced a hail storm the likes of which I’ve never seen before! It was a sight to behold, with hail thick as fog billowing out of the windy sky in waves that mirrored the violent waves of the Atlantic Ocean that was visible in the near distance. I walked from the car into the Post Office, Oifig an Phoist, through this pounding ocean of hail and upon entering the building, an elderly gentleman waiting in the queue cheerfully greeted me with, “Healthy weather!”

Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining! Although I had hoped for a week of nice, mild weather I knew that Ireland in late March – early April, much like Chicago, was capable of anything in the weather department. In this case she gave us nearly everything in the weather department! But we were quite ready as far as clothing goes… which means we had layers to put on or take off as needed. And although the weather pretty much dictated all layers on, for the most part it didn’t keep us from doing the majority of the things we had planned to do while in West Clare. Hoodies covered with rain-resistant jackets and feet snug and dry in wellies (except for Anton’s feet, but that’s another story), we enjoyed our time in County Clare immensely! And as far as pubs go… nothing makes a pub more inviting or cozier than the howl of the wind outside. And howl it did! I even heard wind howling as I walked up the street in Kilkee, something I didn’t think wind was capable of doing when you’re outside!

Eóin in his Irish glory!

But toward the end of the week, perhaps after paying our dues, we were blessed with one lovely day! The sky stayed mostly clear that day and the sun shined down on Rose Cottage and on beautiful Kilkee Beach. Since the weather to that point prevented us from spending any time on the beach, we opted to stay close to home in Kilkee. After breakfast we stopped at a small shop that sold toys and picked up a soccer ball and a couple of inexpensive racquets that came with a small yellow ball and then spent the afternoon on the beach. Here are a couple of photos of the boys enjoying their version of beach recreation and then me enjoying my version of beach recreation. Although I did spend some time hitting a ball with a racquet and kicking the soccer ball around with Anton and Eóin, I spent more time with my Kindle!